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Difference Between Oysters and Mussels

musselOysters vs Mussels

Oysters and mussels are both shellfish. However, one can come across many differences in their anatomy, habitat, breeding and behaviour. But it is very hard to notice the difference between the two and people hardly find any difference between them.

One of the main differences that can be said is that oysters come a little fleshy than mussels.

One of the major differences that can be noticed is in the fertilization. In marine Mussels, fertilization happens outside the body. The larval stage drifts for three to six months before settling on a hard surface as a young mussel. In fresh water mussels, the males release sperm directly into the water and it reaches female through incurrent siphon. Once fertilization takes place, the eggs develop into a larval stage called glochidium, which attaches to the fish’s fins or gills. Before this, glochidia grow in the gills of the female mussel. Oysters reproduce in a different way. In oysters, external fertilization takes place, which means the eggs and the sperm fuse in the water.

When examining the shell, one can see that mussels have a smooth shell and Oysters have a rougher covering. The mussels have a more oblong than oval shell and the dorsal region is seen towards the bottom of the shell rather than towards the middle. Oysters are also bivalve, which is connected by a small hinge.

Though both mussels and oysters are filter feeders, one can come across some difference between the two. Apart from the oysters, mussels have a special “siphon” in its body, which helps to take in and filter the water better.

Oysters are known to move more freely. Mussels normally love to get attached to the rocky surface. Coming to the habitat, a mussel lives in streams, fresh water lakes and creeks along with the salty intertidal zone where the ocean meets the shore. Oysters on the other hand are found in the sea.

Mussels on the other hand live in fresh water and marine environments. Oysters are content with their life. But mussels move about seeking an identity.

Another significant difference that can be noticed is that pearls are normally seen in oysters. In rare cases, pearls can also be seen in mussels.

While Oysters can be eaten raw, mussels have to be eaten cooked only.

1.Oysters come a little fleshy than mussels.
2.Mussels have a smooth shell and Oysters have a rougher covering.
3.Oysters are known to move more freely. Mussels normally love to get attached to the rocky surface

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  1. Difference Between Oysters and Clams | Difference Between | Oysters vs Clams

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